Saturday, March 31, 2018

Variations by Céleste Boursier-Mougenot

Last weekend, the wife and I visited the ceramics museum Princessehof in Leeuwarden. Aside from the very impressive regular collection, the special ceramic arts exhibition In Motion drew our attention. Many fascinating pieces (a condensed overview in Dutch can be found here), but the star of the show for me was the installation Variations by French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. He started his career as a composer, and in many of his works the element of music is still playing a key role. Variations consists of three circular pools of flowing water in which dozens of ceramic bowls of various sizes float. Every random collision of two bowls produces a tone - the sound of which depends on the size of the bowls involved. The result is an unpredictable sequence of notes, which has a distinct zen like character. A sample can be seen and heard in this video (not mine). More about the artist in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image copyrighted by Ruben van Vliet, used with explicit permission from the Museum.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Exhibition: Silk - from land to sea

Today we start a four day exhibition in our gallery (Galerie LuS, Kampen) of the photography by renowned Shanghainese photographer Deke Erh. We've been looking forward to it!

Copyright statement: poster created by Deke Erh, used with explicit permission.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Raised sails in the sunset

Another sail themed post as we countdown to Sail Kampen 2018 - which starts tomorrow. I mixed my shot of a local sailing ship and the painting Sunrise at Etretat by Monet with the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here). The link leads to the original photograph.

Copyright statement: image created via the DeepArt site from one of my original images. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

The port of Leba

Sailing ships are very much on our mind these days, as the huge Sail Kampen event starts this Friday. For the occasion, this beautiful expressionist painting from 1922 by German master Max Pechstein (1881-1955). More about Pechstein in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Does having a day job mean making better art?

It's an interesting question, but I'm not sure the linked art-icle really answers it. It is still a worthwhile read, if only for the funny anecdote of famous classical music composer Philip Glass working as a plumber.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Monday, March 26, 2018

Surreal animals by Julien Tabet

The Photoshop wizardry of the site Worth1000 is no longer a subject of this blog, but the way French artist Julien Tabet constructs non-existing animals with this software tool is up there with the best. I like the depicted zebra best.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original art work included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Zhi shao hai you ni (At least I still have you)

This one is for my wife, as we celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary today. I have posted this song before (in 2008), but the video I linked to at the time has gone the way of the dodo. This is one of those unknown musical gems that I have my wife to thank for. Together with Faye Wong, Sandy Lam is one of the best-loved mandarin pop singers. Overall, Faye Wong is more adventurous in her choice of repertoire, but this beautiful love song from her 2000 album Sandy's is better than anything Faye produced. The almost too sweet lyrics (sample in translation: I'm afraid that there's not enough time, I wanna hold you until I feel that your wrinkles show signs of aging, until I'm sure that you're real, until I've lost all my energy - I'm willing to, because of you) are encompassed in a beautiful melody with great piano playing and a well-judged guitar solo gives some beef to the song as well. Art Rock score: 10/10 (brilliant masterpiece, one of 200 best songs of all time).

Copyright statement: image screenshot from the video, considered fair use.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Going under

The American band Evanescence released their single Going under fifteen years ago (it really seems like just a few years to me). The cover emphasizes the lead singer Amy Lee at the expense of her colleagues, in a blue setting that fits the music. More about Evanescence in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of single covers considered fair use.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

My 100 favourite songs from six decades

It's been a while since I made a list of my favourite songs (pop, rock, ballads), based on extensive listening to music since the late sixties. These are my 100 picks of the crop, ranging from 1964 to 2013. Each song listed has an arrow to link to YouTube - except one (#93), where the only version I could find is a mediocre live rendition.
  1. Shine on you crazy diamond (Pink Floyd)
  2. Mad man moon (Genesis)
  3. Ghosts (Japan)
  4. Firth of Fifth (Genesis)
  5. Kayleigh (Marillion)
  6. Private investigations (Dire Straits)
  7. The ninth wave (Kate Bush)
  8. Killer queen (Queen)
  9. This masquerade (Carpenters)
  10. The sound of silence (Simon and Garfunkel) 
  11. Desperado (Eagles)
  12. Forbidden colours (David Sylvian with Ryuichi Sakamoto)
  13. The raven that refused to sing (Steven Wilson)
  14. Dancing with the moonlit knight (Genesis)
  15. Life on Mars? (David Bowie)
  16. Vincent (Don McLean) 
  17. I'm not in love (10CC) 
  18. Don't give up (Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush)
  19. Baker Street (Gerry Rafferty) 
  20. Street spirit [Fade out] (Radiohead)
  21. Cinema show - Aisle of plenty (Genesis)
  22. Samba pa ti (Santana) 
  23. San Jacinto - live (Peter Gabriel)
  24. Brothers in arms (Dire Straits)
  25. The winner takes it all (ABBA) 
  26. The carpet crawlers (Genesis)
  27. Song to the siren (This Mortal Coil)
  28. Tequila sunrise (Eagles)
  29. Telegraph road (Dire Straits)
  30. Nightporter (Japan)
  31. Hallelujah (Jeff Buckley)
  32. Lyin' eyes (Eagles)
  33. Bat out of hell (Meatloaf) 
  34. The man with the child in his eyes (Kate Bush)
  35. Comfortably numb (Pink Floyd)
  36. Wallflower (Peter Gabriel) 
  37. Time in a bottle (Jim Croce) 
  38. Nur zu besuch (Die Toten Hosen)
  39. Silent all these years (Tori Amos)
  40. Easy livin' (Uriah Heep) 
  41. Through the barricades (Spandau Ballet) 
  42. Wildflower (Skylark) 
  43. I'm in the mood for love (Bryan Ferry) 
  44. Bedshaped (Keane) 
  45. Year of the cat (Al Stewart) 
  46. White rabbit (Jefferson Airplane) 
  47. Drive home (Steven Wilson) 
  48. Where or when (Bryan Ferry) 
  49. Winter (Tori Amos)
  50. Gollums song (Emiliana Torrini) 
  51. New year's day (U2) 
  52. Ashes to ashes (David Bowie)
  53. America (Simon and Garfunkel) 
  54. Hou me vast (Volumia!) 
  55. Merlin (Kayak) 
  56. The rhythm of the heat - live (Peter Gabriel)
  57. I can't see New York (Tori Amos) 
  58. Niniane [Lady of the lake] (Kayak) 
  59. Silent lucidity (Queensryche) 
  60. Cloudbusting (Kate Bush) 
  61. Entangled (Genesis) 
  62. Perfect day (Lou Reed) 
  63. Under your thumb (Godley and Creme) 
  64. For Emily, whenever I may find her (Simon and Garfunkel) 
  65. Cup of coffee (Garbage) 
  66. Uncertain smile (The The) 
  67. Promises (Cranberries) 
  68. Julia dream (Pink Floyd) 
  69. Homeless (Paul Simon) 
  70. China (Tori Amos) 
  71. Afscheid (Robert Long) 
  72. Routine day (Klaatu)
  73. Scarborough Fair (Simon and Garfunkel) 
  74. A coral room (Kate Bush) 
  75. At seventeen (Janis Ian) 
  76. On the border (Al Stewart) 
  77. Beyond the pale (Pain of Salvation) 
  78. Tauschen gegen dich (Die Toten Hosen) 
  79. Jesse (Janis Ian) 
  80. American pie (Don McLean) 
  81. Adia (Sarah McLachlan) 
  82. Anesthetize (Porcupine Tree) 
  83. The lamia (Genesis) 
  84. Kathy's song (Simon and Garfunkel) 
  85. Julie with... (Brian Eno) 
  86. Old and wise (Alan Parsons Project) 
  87. With or without you (U2) 
  88. Biko (Peter Gabriel) 
  89. Give up your guns (Buoys) 
  90. Testament (Boudewijn de Groot) 
  91. The first time ever I saw your face (Robert Flack) 
  92. Diamonds on the soles of her shoes (Paul Simon) 
  93. Jeder's monchmal einsam, net nur du (Wolfgang Niedecken) ➤
  94. Oh yeah (Roxy Music) 
  95. Steppin' out (Joe Jackson) 
  96. Space Oddity (David Bowie) 
  97. Vigil in a wilderness of mirrors (Fish) 
  98. Vienna (Ultravox) 
  99. Listening wind (Talking Heads) 
  100. I hear you now (Jon and Vangelis) 
Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018


Officially spring start today in the Netherlands, but it does not feel like it yet. To get in the mood, a vintage travel poster for Amalfi, the picturesque Italian town at the Gulf of Salerno. The poster is from the 1910's.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Monday, March 19, 2018


This 2018 Caldwell/Earl science fiction movie is in American cinemas now, and reviews are great. The poster is a beauty in its simplicity, and makes me want to see the movie - so it fulfills its purpose admirably.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Frozen rooftops

So far, 2018 has not really inspired me in terms of  taking photographs, but I quite like this winter scene shot a few weeks ago near our home. It depicts the roofs of the beautiful Kampen canal houses, reflected in the frozen Burgel, and flipped upside down.

Camera: Canon IXUS 170, 20 Megapixels, handheld
Exposure: 0.08 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/5.6
Focal Length: 29.2 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Post-processing: Picasa 3.0

Copyright statement: image created by myself. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Walasse Ting: the Amsterdam years

Earlier this week, we visited this outstanding exhibition in the Jan van der Togt Museum in Amstelveen (just south of Amsterdam). Walasse Ting (1929-1910) was a Chinese-American visual artist and poet, born in Shanghai. His colourful exotic works really stand out, and this exhibition (which last one more month) brings a lot of them together for the first time. We found it a marvelous experience, and I recommend it highly if you happen to live (or visit) in the Netherlands these weeks.

Copyright statement: low resolution promotion image, considered fair use.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Nursery cryme

A prog rock classic, both for the album itself and the cover: Genesis' Nursery Cryme from 1971. This surrealistic beauty was designed by Paul Whitehead, who was responsible for many covers at the Charisma label.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of album covers considered fair use.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Upside down or not?

Rather surprisingly, even museums can get it wrong - literally, by hanging a piece of art upside down. The most famous case is Matisse's The boat, shown above, which hung upside down in the New York Museum of Modern Art for 47 days in 1961 - until a visitor spotted the mistake. As the linked art-icle shows though, there are plenty of opportunities to go wrong if the artist did not leave clear instructions - and one can even wonder whether in some cases there is a wrong and a right way. An interesting read.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original art work depiction included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use..

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


I'm not sure what I expected when I mixed my Shanghai Pudong shot Aurora and the painting The broad by Neo Rauch with the on-line program at the DeepArt site (blogged here) - but not this. Still, I think it's an intriguing image. The link leads to the original photograph.

Copyright statement: image created via the DeepArt site from one of my original images. Copyright Hennie Schaper.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Deke Erh - Photographer with a Mission

End of March 2018, the nautical spectacle Sail Kampen will be held for the sixth time since 2002. Billed as the largest Easter event in the Netherlands, it is expected to draw over 200000 visitors to the beautiful old Hanseatic city at the borders of the IJssel. Among the ships that will sail in, is a century old wooden sailing ship Saeolöer, whose owner is one of the most special participants of the event. His name is Deke Erh (depicted above), famous freelance photographer and explorer from Shanghai. Galerie LuS is delighted to have the opportunity to exhibit a selection of Deke Erhs astonishing photography during this event. On our web site, I have posted a short article about Deke Erh, including his background and a few examples of his work (see link below).

Copyright statement: image used with explicit permission by the copyright holder, Deke Erh.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Chicago (That Toddlin' Town)

Time for another vintage song sheet cover under the heading Anything goes. Chicago (That Toddlin' Town) is a classic written by Fred Fisher in 1922, and best known in the Frank Sinatra version. No information about the illustrator.

Copyright statement: image in public domain.

Sunday, March 11, 2018


This Kate Bush classic is one of the most beautiful hits and also one of the most beautiful videos of the eighties. Scary to realize it was released over 30 years ago......  Art Rock score: 10/10, one of  200 best songs of all time.

Copyright statement: image screenshot from the video, considered fair use.

Saturday, March 10, 2018


With Easter just 3 weeks from now, it's time to get out the beautiful Saint Matthew's and Saint John's Passions of Johann Sebastian Bach. To get in the mood, perhaps the most beautiful painting ever created on this subject, this 1910 expressionist masterpiece by Marianne von Werefkin (1860-1938). More about the artist in the linked Wikipedia article.

Copyright statement: image in public  domain.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Duchamp in a Cage fight

It sounds more violent than it was, but still, it must have been quite an occasion to attend. Fifty years ago father of conceptual art Marcel Duchamp and avant-garde composer John Cage played a game of musical chess. The moves on the electronic board automatically generated sounds, and a photographer (Shigeko Kubota) was present to document the happening, which was called Reunion. Full story in the linked art-icle.

Copyright statement: image created via the Photofunia site, who explicitly state that their images have no copyright issues. The original photograph included in the image is thumbnail size and therefore considered fair use.

Thursday, March 08, 2018


This 2016 futuristic dystopian Schwentke movie Allegiant (from the Divergent series) does not have a good reputation, but the poster is a beautiful design.

Copyright statement: lower resolution images of movie posters considered fair use.

Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Classical music of the past 100 years [3] 1938-1947

Too many listeners of classical music think that over the past 100 years or so, nothing worthwhile has been composed. In this recurring series, I will be posting one composition per year from 1918 until 2017, with every selected composer featuring only once (and not necessarily with their imo best work). I'm aiming for composers who represent the more modern age, skipping many famous names from before 1918 who also composed in this time slot (such as Sibelius and Richard Strauss). Overall I wanted to get a reasonable mix of symphonies, concertos, other orchestral works, chamber music, solo instrumental compositions, and vocal creations, but excluding opera altogether. I have grouped the works per period of ten years, with one post per month for each subsequent decade. Youtube links are not included as they tend to disappear with time - they are easily googled anyway. If you like classical music, but are reluctant to explore the 20th and 21st century works, this series of posts might give you a bit of a nudge to start listening.

1938 Webern - String quartet
1939 Prokofiev - Alexander Nevsky cantata
1940 Lilburn - Aotearoa overture
1941 Messiaen - Quatuor pour la fin du temps
1942 Schoenberg - Piano concerto
1943 Martin - Der Cornet
1944 Moroi - Symphony 3
1945 Moeran - Cello concerto
1946 Villa-Lobos – String Quartet No. 10
1947 Barber - Knoxville: Summer of 1915

In this third helping, we once more find a mix of famous names, and almost unknowns. Schoenberg and Webern are key representatives of the second Viennese school. Prokofiev, listed here with my favourite work from his repertoire, also does not require introduction. France's Messiaen is widely acknowledged as one of the most important composers of the century - this quartet was composed while he was in a prisoner-of-war camp. Then we have Brazil's Villa-Lobos and the American Barber - both best known for a single composition, and both very rewarding composers to explore in depth (Knoxville is one of my all-time favourite compositions for voice and orchestra). The three others are really hidden treasures. Lilburn from New Zealand, Martin from Switzerland, and Britains Moeran - with the most beautiful cello concerto ever composed (imho).

Copyright statement: image in public domain.